In Hesiod's Theogony, for example, we find the following evaluation of Love:
When Virgil wrote "Omnia vincit Amor" [love conquers all], he did NOT mean that our love will overcome all our obstacles. He meant that love overwhelms all of US.In truth at first Chaos came to be, but next
wide-bosomed Earth, the ever-sure foundation of all the
deathless ones who hold the peaks of snowy Olympus,
and dim Tartarus in the depth of the wide-pathed Earth,
and Eros ( Love), fairest among the deathless gods, 
who unnerves the limbs and overcomes the mind
and wise counsels of all gods and all men within their hearts.
Love overrules our reason, "blurs
"overcomes the mind and wise counsels of all god and all men
in their hearts."
|"One Day I Wrote Her Name upon the Strand"|
One day I wrote her name upon the strand;
But came the waves, and washed it away:
Again, I wrote it with a second hand;
But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.
Vain man, said she, that dost in vain assay
A mortal thing so to immortalize;
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eke my name be wiped out likewise.
Not so, quoth I; let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write your glorious name.
Where, whenas death shall all the world subdue,
Our love shall live, and later life renew.
This is from a sonnet series by Edmund Spenser. The sonnet
is a poem with fourteen lines. The lines are in iambic
pentameter, and he rhyme scheme is variable. In this poem,
Spenser follows the following rhyme scheme:
The theme of the poem is tempus fugit, "time flies." This theme is related to one we've seen before, carpe diem. Carpe diem because tempus fugit. Sieze the day because time flies.
1-4 The first four lines go together. He attempts to write his love's name on the strand, which means the sand, but the waves keep washing is away.
5-8 She compares herself to the name in the sand. Like it, she herself will soon be blotted out. He can't make something mortal into something immortal.
9-12 He protests that other things may pass away (die in dust), but that her "glorious name" will live in the heavens because of his poem.
13-14 Even when the world ends, their love won't.
Did you notice that for all his boasting about making her
immortal in this poem, that he somehow forgot to include her name?
He did, however, remember to sign it with his name. Sic
transit gloria mundi (thus passes the glory of the world).